Sport

Falcons undefeated, Colts get 'Luck-y' and Bears win BIG

By Tony Scott

Friday, November 09, 2012    

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ACCORDING to Atlanta Falcons tight end, Tony Gonzalez, the Falcons are still under the radar of the national media at 8-0 (the only remaining undefeated team in the League) because the cognoscenti think that they will eventually choke in the play-offs.

I don't think so, but what do I know. I do know that this Sunday they face the New Orleans Saints and, if they beat these guys and go to 9-0, then maybe the national media will take them seriously and consider them genuine contenders. Their 19-13 win over the Dallas Cowboys at home in the Georgia Dome in Week Nine was just another step in the right direction. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was his usual calm self, hooking up with receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones for a combined 12 catches and 247 yards.

At the end of the third quarter, running back Michael Turner broke out with an impressive 44-yard run that set up the tie-breaking touchdown. He ended the day with a respectable 102 yards and a touchdown. Matt Ryan was not so bad either chalking up a career-best 342 yards passing. This Atlanta Falcons team just keeps on rolling and winning. And winning is the name of this game.

My pal Mike said something interesting while we were Monday morning quarterbacking at the office. He said that in all his years of watching the NFL he has never seen a better crop of quarterbacks; he has a point because neither have I. There were always outstanding guys around who stood out from the pack. The Dolphins' Danny Marino comes to mind and so does my wife's favourite, Joe Montano who worked magic with her favourite wide receiver, Jerry Rice, back in the day when the 49ers were awesome.

Then there were the likes of Warren Moon whose career I followed closely from his days in the Canadian Football League. John Elway was pretty good too but I never liked him, neither did I ever like Brett Favre. There's a whole bunch more but let's move on to the current crop of veterans and rookies at the quarterback position. The Manning brothers for starters — Peyton and Eli — are among this elite group. Then there is the Packers' Aaron Rodgers, who is arguably the cream of the elite crop at this point.

Then there were the likes of Warren Moon whose career I followed closely from his days in the Canadian Football League. John Elway was pretty good too but I never liked him, neither did I ever like Brett Favre. There's a whole bunch more but let's move on to the current crop of veterans and rookies at the quarterback position. The Manning brothers for starters — Peyton and Eli — are among this elite group. Then there is the Packers' Aaron Rodgers, who is arguably the cream of the elite crop at this point.

We can't leave out Drew Brees of the Saints and we definitely cannot ignore the Steelers Ben Roethlisberger, nor the Patriots' Tom Brady. Now there are a whole bunch of other guys at the second tier beneath the elite level who perform at a very high standard. Then there are the rookies who stepped into the fray and who are performing like they belong; and they do. The Vikings' Christian Ponder comes to mind first, followed by the one everyone seems high on — Robert Griffin III or just RG3 — of the Washington Redskins.

One of the impressive performances in Week Nine was put in by the Chicago Bears as they dominated the Tennessee Titans 51-20. The Bears defence scored two touchdowns, blocked one punt, forced five fumbles (recovering four of them), got an interception and also picked up two sacks.

Like I said — DOMINANT. The 7-1 Bears have an average margin of victory of almost 19 points. This may very well change as the rest of their schedule is not a cake walk. Teams like the Texans, the 49ers and the New York Giants lie in wait.

Some things to ponder as we enter the second half of the season: To begin with, can the Atlanta Falcons remain undefeated? I think this question may be answered this week when they face the New Orleans Saints. Also, after their 28-13 loss to the New Orleans Saints, one wonders how much longer Mike Vick and Andy Reid will last in the Eagles organisation. And what of the boys in 'Big D' ? Can the Dallas Cowboys rebound from another loss to get back on track? They now have the same 3-5 record as do the Eagles and this week the two teams clash in a game that could hold strong play-off repercussions.

My fellow expert Peter Lindo blew away the competition last week going a blistering 11-3 with his predictions against the spread, the best single week record so far this season. Well done my friend, well done indeed.

On a somewhat heartwarming note, the Indianapolis Colts' players have shaved their heads this week in support of their coach Chuck Pagano who is battling Lukemia. Get well soon coach.

Finally, a post election thought: when the American people re-elected Barack Obama as President, they not only did the right thing, but they broke the mould on a hex on incumbent candidates. Apparently, when the Washington Redskins lose the game before the election, the incumbent loses; when they win, the incumbent wins. This is the hex that was broken because RG3 and the Redskins did in fact lose to Cam Newton and the Panthers, 21-13. So much for hexes.

Enjoy the games, especially the Falcons-Saints, Texans-Bears, and Cowboys-Eagles, and remember to bet on the games with JustBet!

To find out more about JustBet, and how to bet on the NFL and other sports, visit www.supremeventures.com/justbet, www.facebook.com/justbet, www.twitter.com/justbet_ja, or call 1-888-429-5785 (toll-free)

NFL WEEK 10 SCHEDULE

Thur Nov 8

Jac Jaguars +3.5 v Ind Colts, U/O 42.5

Sun Nov11

Bal Ravens v Oak Raiders +8.5, U/O 45.5

Car Panthers +4.5 v Den Broncos, U/O 47.5

Cin Bengals +5.5 v NY Giants, U/O 48.5

Mia Dolphins v Ten Titans +6.5, U/O 44.5

Min Vikings +1.5 v Det Lions, U/O 47.5

NE Patriots v Buf Bills +11.5, U/O 50.5

NO Saints +3.5 v Atl Falcons, U/O 53.5

TB Buccaneers v SD Chargers +3.5, U/O 48.5

Sea Seahawks v NY Jets +6.,5 U/O 38.5

Phi Eagles +0.5 v Dal Cowboys, U/O 45.5

SF 49ers v StL Rams +11.5, U/O 38.5

Chi Bears v Hou Texans +0.5, U/O 41.5

Mon Nov 12

Pit Steelers v KC Chiefs +11.5 U/O 42.5

*Handicaps and Under/Over included*

*Teams on a bye: Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals, Washington Redskins

*Handicaps and Under/Over subject to change without notice, prior to kick-off

EXPERTS' PICKS AGAINST THE SPREAD

Andrei Roper's

Week 10 Picks (in bold)

Jaguars v Colts

Ravens v Raiders

Panthers v Broncos

Bengals v Giants

Dolphins v Titans

Vikings v Lions

Patriots v Bills

Saints v Falcons

Buccaneers v Chargers

Seahawks v Jets

Eagles v Cowboys

49ers v Rams

Bears v Texans

Steelers v Chiefs

Last week: 8-6

Season to date: 70-62

Andre Hutchinson's

Week 10 Picks (in bold)

Jaguars v Colts

Ravens v Raiders

Panthers v Broncos

Bengals v Giants

Dolphins v Titans

Vikings v Lions

Patriots v Bills

Saints v Falcons

Buccaneers v Chargers

Seahawks v Jets

Eagles v Cowboys

49ers v Rams

Bears v Texans

Steelers v Chiefs

Last week: 6-8

Season to date: 65-67

Tony Scott's

Week 10 Picks (in bold)

Jaguars v Colts

Ravens v Raiders

Panthers v Broncos

Bengals v Giants

Dolphins v Titans

Vikings v Lions

Patriots v Bills

Saints v Falcons

Buccaneers v Chargers

Seahawks v Jets

Eagles v Cowboys

49ers v Rams

Bears v Texans

Steelers v Chiefs

Last week: 8-6

Season to date: 62-70

Peter Lindo's

Week 10 Picks (in bold)

Jaguars v Colts

Ravens v Raiders

Panthers v Broncos

Bengals v Giants

Dolphins v Titans

Vikings v Lions

Patriots v Bills

Saints v Falcons

Buccaneers v Chargers

Seahawks v Jets

Eagles v Cowboys

49ers v Rams

Bears v Texans

Steelers v Chiefs

Last week: 11-3

Season to date: 61-71

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